‘A real outlet’: Maple Leafs Urged To Sign 6′0″ , 195 lb USHL Forward

‘A real outlet’: Maple Leafs Urged To Sign 6′0″ , 195 lb USHL Forward

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently own the 23rd overall pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, and there have been no indications that they want to trade it in order to get a player who can help them right now. With that said, there are plenty of excellent prospects in the first round of the 2018 draft, and the Maple Leafs should be pleased with anyone they select. However, there is one candidate they should look to target and choose if he is available, but they will not be able to do so until they trade up.

Cole Eiserman was widely believed to be the second overall pick in the upcoming draft heading into the 2023-24 season, but his stock dropped due to some small issues with his game, and he could now fall out of the top 10. If that’s the case, the Maple Leafs should try and trade up to select him, as he could fit into their lineup and elevate their offensive production. With the Maple Leafs expected to change their roster immensely heading into the 2024-25 season, Eiserman could join the team when he completes his time in the NCAA and help lead their newly built lineup. By the time he’s ready to make the transition, the Maple Leafs should have made the changes they wanted and should be preparing to make another push for a Stanley Cup.

Who is Cole Eiserman?

Eiserman is an offensively gifted forward who should be able to adapt his high scoring skills to the NHL level after further refining his game in the NCAA. Last season, he participated in the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) and spent time with the USHL’s junior and U18 teams. Eiserman had 34 points in 24 games in the USHL, with 25 goals and nine assists, for a 1.42 points-per-game average. During his stint in the USNTDP, he scored 58 goals and added 31 assists for 89 points in 57 games, averaging 1.56 points per game.

While his defensive game may require some work before he can play professionally, he should continue to grow while retaining his attacking production. If the Maple Leafs can trade up to get him, he could be the steal of the draft. There will be a few other clubs wanting to sign Eiserman and would probably not pass him up if he was available, so the Maple Leafs would have to make an offer worth another team’s attention.

Realistically, the Maple Leafs would have to trade their 23rd overall pick, as well as their 2026 third-round pick and one of their 2024 fifth-round picks, in order to move up into the top 10-15 to choose Eiserman. It’s possible that a team in the 10-15 area would contemplate trading down if it meant increasing their draft capital for future years.

Some fans may be hesitant to take a player who seems one-dimensional and isn’t quite ready to step up defensively since the team has lacked consistent defensive strength for several seasons. However, another one of their major issues would be solved if they were able to snag Eiserman, as the Maple Leafs have struggled to find any offensive production in the postseason recently.

The Maple Leafs will be attempting to get back on track during the 2024-25 season and return to the postseason for more success. After being eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the first round this season, the team has started implementing changes, including a new head coach, which will likely continue into free agency. The Maple Leafs’ prospects, namely Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Morgan Rielly, have the potential to make them a long-term Stanley Cup contender.

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